Interact-AS for Professionals with Hearing Loss
The Interact-AS is software that you load onto your PC laptop computer. It can only be loaded onto one device. It comes with a free noise-cancelling headset microphone for optimal performance in a 1:1 setting (plugs into computer headphone input). There is a Professional Edition and a Consumer version of Interact-AS. The person speaking wears a microphone and his/her voice is transmitted to the PC where it is translated into text that appears in one second on the PC screen.
The Professional Edition of Interact-AS includes a high quality speech recognition engine for superior transcription accuracy; an unlimited number of user accounts (specific individual speakers) and voice recordings synchronized with your transcripts. For individuals who will be using Interact-AS for expressive speech, it includes favorites lfor commonly used phrases; sociable sounds for conversations; the term expansion, keyword and PhraseBuilder™ shortcut features for rapidly constructing sentences and personalized voices for voice synthesis. This version also has the ability to add language modules for multi-lingual conversations in dozens of languages.
What about working with students or 1:1 with classroom teachers?
The professional classroom headset microphone system is appropriate when talking 1:1 with adults but may not be the best option when you work with one or two students. A desktop microphone should be used in those situations. For best accuracy, anyone who’s speech will be translated by Interact-AS needs to read a passage aloud for 6-10 minutes to train the software for best translation accuracy. Easy stories are available for children to train the software too, so you could have improved accuracy working with them. Because you will be working with more than 2-3 students you will need to have the Professional Edition of the software. When you attend a staff meeting you the meeting leader (i.e., DHH Coordinator) could use the wired headset. It has about 6 feet of cord so you could sit strategically to be able to still speechread. When it is time for discussion, other staff could speak into the desktop microphone – it needs to be close to the mouth for best accuracy. You would need to unplug the headset and plug in the desktop microphone. For an online computer learning event you could place the microphone next to the output speakers of the computer. Although the computer will introduce a background noise and the speakers presenting the online event haven’t trained the software for best recognition, the accuracy may still be considerably better than speechreading alone. Individuals will need to try Interact-AS to determine for themselves if it is an appropriate accommodation.
What about using Interact-AS for Professional Development
Just as for translation between a classroom teacher and a student, the person who is presenting the professional development topic will need to wear a microphone with a boom mic. The laptop that has the Interact-AS software can transmit to anyone in the audience that has a media device via a free screen-sharing app (i.e., join.me). Alternately, the presenter can have the translation show on the same screen as their PowerPoint presentation as long as they are using the computer that has the Interact-AS software to show their presentation. To do this the presenter would select on the top menu: slide show -> set up slide show -> choose ‘browsed by an individual (window)’. The presenter would show the lowest part of the Interact-AS screen.
What about a trial period so we can see if Interact-AS will really benefit me?
The full version of Interact-AS is not returnable. A 30-day trial version is available for $49 + S/H with a FREE microphone included (plugs into computer). You would load the Interact-AS software and are then able to be used for 30 days. The microphone that comes with the trial period is for 1:1 communication. If you decide to purchase Interact-AS then the cost of the trial period would be deducted from the full price (you would pay $716.00). The desktop and ear-level wireless microphones are not available for trial use.
Questions about Interact-AS? Contact Mike Massine at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-963-8991.